Two people have been removed by law enforcement from an Air New Zealand flight after failing to listen to the safety briefing mandatory for exit row passengers.
Passengers who are seated in the exit row are required to pay attention to the safety briefing and review the safety card as well as comply with the crews special instructions for that location or be re-seated to another row.
The two individuals in question apparently wouldn’t have any of it, and refused to listen to the crew, holding up the departure process.
Other passengers speaking to Stuff.nz (access here) described the offenders as a “wealthy looking” couple.
Two “wealthy-looking” passengers were kicked off an Air New Zealand flight after reportedly refusing to pay attention to an airline safety briefing.
The two, a man and a woman, were sitting in an exit-row on a plane at Wellington Airport bound for Auckland on Tuesday morning.
Air New Zealand said the woman was removed from the flight after delaying the aircraft’s departure.
The plane had to return to the gate after the pair refused to view a card detailing the flight’s safety instructions.
A passenger who sat near the “wealthy-looking” couple on the flight said the woman was carrying a Louis Vuitton bag, and appeared very “high maintenance”.
“The video started playing and the flight attendant held up the card, but the woman started looking down at her book.”
She soon picked up her phone, and both she and her male travel companion were looking at their phones, she said.
“A flight attendant said very patiently ‘Can you please watch what’s happening because this is the exit row’. “The flight attendant was super kind and kept asking her, but the woman put her fingers in her ears.” …
When they were told that police were waiting for them, the woman pulled out her phone and loudly tried to make a booking with Jetstar, she said. …
Another passenger on board the plane told Newshub:
“I have to say that if watching the safety video is so crucial and you can be escorted off the plane, maybe Air New Zealand should stop making ‘Rachel Hunter ice cream ad’ safety videos,” the passenger said.
“Just make a short video that is compulsory to watch and let people know if they don’t watch the video, the police will come and take them away.”
A police spokeswoman said police were requested to meet one passenger at the airport on Tuesday morning. “The passenger will receive an infringement notice under Civil Aviation Authority rules relating to the use of a cellphone,” the spokeswoman said.
A couple strange things in this entire story. Why wasn’t the couple (and other passengers) briefed about their role as exit row occupants when the flight was still at the gate?
It’s highly unusual that the safety briefing as a whole takes place while the aircraft is taxiing and I’ve never seen Exit Passengers receiving their briefing after the plane is already moving.
Not sure what the “wealthy looking” part and the woman carrying a designer handbag has to do with any of this to be honest. These were simply two individuals who didn’t comply with the rules.
Exit Row passengers are required to familiarize themselves with the emergency procedures and depending on the airline even confirm that verbally to the crew. If they refuse, then the passengers will be re-seated in another spot in the aircraft.
Why didn’t the crew move the passengers out of the exit row as per normal procedure? Of course it’s difficult to do a passenger shuffle when the plane is already moving, which is why the safety and exit row briefings are usually completed while the plane is still at the gate after everybody is seated. It always takes several minutes for the aircraft to leave the gate – plenty of time for the briefing.
The way Air New Zealand handled this situation was completely unprofessional. They should have done the safety briefing earlier and removed these immature passengers (obviously giant jer**) from their exit row seats as per regular procedure and not return to the gate for law enforcement to remove them, impacting all other passengers with a delay.
What was the result of this? A citation because the passenger used a cellphone onboard. Nothing even closely related to the actual refusal to follow the safety briefing. Sounds like incompetent cabin crew on a power trip rather than actual safety related issues. Then they came up with some nonsense reason (cellphone) to shift all the blame to the passenger. This could all have been avoided from the get go!